Skip Navigation

Geography and Environmental Sustainability

Skip Carousel Content
Skip Side Navigation

Geography and Environmental Sustainability


We are a dynamic and growing department located in Norman, Oklahoma, named one of the best small cities in America.

Our mission is to conduct innovative and socially relevant research; to expand students’ intellectual vistas via critical perspectives and valuable tools and skills; and to catalyze sustainable human-natural systems.

Open Letter from Chair

Dear DGES Family:

Today marks the start of the Spring 2022 semester and for the fourth semester in a row, I am hopeful that this will finally be our last COVID semester.  We start off the new year and the new semester during challenging times and the recent impact of the Omicron variant has the potential to make the start of the semester difficult for all of us.  However, as I wrote at the beginning of the school year, I remain extremely impressed with the resilience and fortitude of the entire DGES family, and that is true even more so now as we all have successfully completed another semester since I wrote that message.   This semester will still be extremely challenging for all of us but I know we will persevere if we all remain vigilant.  I strongly encourage you to follow the OU efforts to overcome these difficult times through  In addition, please know that all the DGES faculty and staff are here to do whatever we can to support you and help you succeed this semester.  Thus, please reach out if you feel you are struggling or need support of any kind.   My real and virtual zoom office doors are always open and available, so please feel free to come by in person if there is anything with which I can help.  You can also reach out to me via email or zoom or to Dr. Hoagland or to any one of the other amazing DGES staff (Jamie, Emalee, Izzy, or Charles).

Warm regards and good luck this semester.


DGES is pleased to announce a new cluster hire of three faculty in Earth System Prediction and Community Resilience.

View the advertisement for these positions here.

DGES is inviting applicants for a tenured position focused on Geographical Information Science and Geospatial Technologies. This candidate will also serve as Director of the Center for Spatial Analysis.

More information is available here, and the application can be accessed here.

DGES Welcomes Our New Faculty Members, Diana Denham, Selena Feng, Timothy Filley, Kasey Jones-Motrona, Tom Mueller, Lauren Mullenbach, and Anni Yang!

For more information about our new faculty and their research, visit the People page of our website here.

DGES in the News

Headshot of Jennifer Koch against white background

Dr. Jennifer Koch has been named associate research director of the University of Oklahoma Data Science Institute for Societal Challenges. Founded in July 2020, the institute is designed to integrate data science expertise across the university and harness data science innovation to solve real-world problems.

Read the full story here:

alt text

See graduate student José Montalva's booklets about the giant bumblebee and the Mapuche people.

B.dahlomii booklet 1

B.dahlbomii booklet 2


alt text

Check out Dr. de Beurs' new NASA grant to study emerging infectious disease threats in Central Asia, including coronavirus!


Congratulations to DGES students Madison Wilson and Madeline Wade for placing 1st and 2nd in the 2020 Southwest Division of the American Association of Geographers Undergraduate Paper Competition!

Congratulations to DGES students Eli Tuberg and Cayton Moore! Eli and Cayton will be receiving a recognition that has been created to honor the hard work and dedication of outstanding graduate students who teach at OU: The Provost’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.  The recipients represent the top 10 percent of all graduate assistants across campus by student evaluations for courses taught during the Spring 2020 semester. 

Congratulations again to Eli and Cayton!

alt text

Congratulations to Ph.D student Aditi Singh for receiving The Provost’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching! The award is created to honor the hard work and dedication of outstanding graduate students who teach at OU.


alt text

Congratulations to the students at the Annual SWAAG meeting in Forth Worth!

Ale Acuña Balbuena won the paper competition with “Reproductive Rights and Development in Peru: Indigenous Perspectives from The Quipu Project.” 

Madison Wilson earned second place in the undergraduate student poster competition with her first-ever poster, “Spatial and temporal patterns of fallow/idle cropland in the United States Rio Grande Basin."

Cayton Moore made an impact as the student officer representing the region and several other DGES students presented papers and posters.

Drs. Randy Peppler and Angela Person student Madeline Wade won first place in the undergraduate student poster competition with her poster “Public Perceptions of Water Reuse in Norman, Oklahoma."